The search for happiness has been an enduring quest for us all. The greatest minds from history--Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Rousseau, Kant, Mill, Gandhi, Einstein and many others—all confirm that happiness is the one thing we all crave after. The Wild Longing of the Human Heart is divided into two parts. Part one examines the brief history of happiness which has not always meant exactly the same thing to all cultures and individuals, and then moves on to summarize the latest information from the areas of brain science as well as the field of positive psychology. Part two proposes that it is not happiness (in the psycho-physiological sense of something like tranquility) which is the true goal of human living. Rather, the true goal of the “wild longing” is a meaningful life, guided by the search for truth, beauty and goodness.
The Quest for Meaning explores the deep-seated human need to create a life that is meaningful. In an effort to understand this need, author William Cooney examines the works of philosophers from Plato to Sartre as well as the insights of artists, poets, writers, psychologists, and film-makers. He discusses the nature of humanness, creation, freedom, and choice, all of which are facets of a meaningful life. Cooney also addresses postmodernism, arguing that it does not offer real guidance for those seeking a life of significance. Maintaining that some ways of creating meaning are preferable to others, he concludes that it is up to each individual to craft a meaningful life and that this process must take place within a context of giving and receiving.